An “attractive nuisance” is something that could be both dangerous and attractive to a small child. Homeowners can be liable if they don’t take proper steps to protect children from their own decisions. This is even true if the child is technically trespassing when they enter the property.
A very common example of an attractive nuisance is a backyard pool. If a child fell into the pool and drowned, even if the homeowner didn’t know that anyone was on their property at the time, they could still be liable if they were negligent in their security measures. As a result, fences are necessary around personal pools in California. Below are some of the requirements.
The height of the fence needs to be at least 5 feet. The measurement must be taken from the opposite side of the pool or the outside of the fence.
The fence must have a gate with a latch. It needs to be both self-latching and self-closing. It cannot be an RV access gate. Essentially, any time someone goes through the gate, it needs to automatically close and lock behind them so no one else can get in.
Another requirement is that there can’t be any gaps in the fence, which needs to extend to no more than 2 inches from the ground. There also can be no more than 4 inches of gap between each rail of the fence.
Finally, the fence should be impossible to climb from the outside. There shouldn’t be cavities, protrusions or other physical characteristics that a child could use as hand or foot holds.
Unfortunately, these types of injuries do happen every year, sometimes because homeowners are negligent. Those whose children have been injured need to know about their legal options.